In many places on the Northern hemisphere, September is harvest time. With harvest come various things: hard work, wonderful food, quality time outdoors, community, bonding, and… bandits! At least, if you live in late Sengoku era Japan.
To defeat the bandits attacking your village, you need defenders. Samurai! But sometimes it’s difficult to bring warriors into a village setting. How much will it cost? How will they behave? And are they both good enough fighters and good enough in their hearts to protect you? This is the setup of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai, a film that is constantly ranked among the best in the history of cinema.
It is also this month’s film for our Akira Kurosawa film club. As a result, now is the perfect time to rewatch it, or indeed watch it for the first time ever if you have never seen it.
If you are interested in learning more about Seven Samurai, including backgrounds, production history and common approaches to the film, head over to the brand new Seven Samurai page which I just put together, just for you.
And get hold of the film! There are no excuses: Seven Samurai is available practically everywhere in the world. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys and gals on the International Space Station have a copy, too. Check your streaming services or, if you want a physical copy for yourself, see if you can buy one of Criterion’s wonderful releases. For information about home video availability, see the DVD and Blu-ray pages.
If you are new to our film club, welcome! Ours is a friendly place where any and all thoughts, ideas and responses to the films that we watch are warmly welcomed. You can share yours either below in the comments section, or start a more focused new discussion thread at the forums. You can also check out some of our previous Seven Samurai discussions right here.
To get the ball rolling, here’s an ice-breaker: where were you when you first saw Seven Samurai and what was your immediate response to it? Has that response changed?